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I’ve started this a thousand times.

I’ve started writing this blog post roughly a thousand times in my head. I’ve edited it, I’ve redrafted it, I’ve added, I’ve deleted… but I’ve never actually stopped to write a sentence down.

Our little one came in-

(sorry about that- she was crying and needed to be held… now, where was I?)

Our little one came in November and turned our family of 3 (husband, myself, and our dog) into a family of 4. To say she’s given us a run for our money is an understatement.

I’ve always been pretty protective of my schedule and my routine. I don’t like to deviate too much from what I know and am familiar with. Let’s just say that babies throw that ALL out the window. It’s been a total and complete adjustment, but in a good way. And to be honest, it’s taken me a few weeks to be able to say that- to say that it’s a good thing.

Change is hard. And harder for some (my hand is WAY up).

She cried a lot those first 5 weeks, and didn’t sleep a lot. I felt like a human milk machine. Showers were few and far between, while the tears rarely ceased (for both of us). I felt empty and defeated at the end of most days, just thinking “This is it? This is life now?!” There were times I mourned* the loss of my freedom and ability to shower each morning and eat a hot meal while it’s still hot and just get in my car and go to the store in under an hour. (*mourned=sobbed uncontrollably)

Luckily, it’s getting easier. She’s crying less and sleeping (a very little bit) more. Or maybe I’m just getting used to the sleep depravation- it’s anybody’s guess. I’ve learned a lot about myself and the kindness of others. It takes a village to raise a child, and even telling a mother that she’s doing a great job sparks a fire that I cannot describe in words. Feeling that love and support helps to refill my tank.

It’s a slow process. And I’m a constant work in progress.

As I became a bit more comfortable with my role as Mom, I longed to do the things that helped me feel like myself again- working out and eating things that aren’t necessarily  Spaghettios or Oreos. (Don’t get me wrong- I LOVE those and still enjoy them from time to time, but I also know they don’t make me feel as good as my leafy greens do.) I’m ready to start feeling better about the new person that I’ve become- inside and out.

It’s Love Your Body Week at UND- one of my favorite times of the year. I love the idea of celebrating yourself no matter WHAT. Love your body or not, it’s a great reminder that there is always something to be thankful for.

A friend asked me what I loved about my body the other day. The truth is, since having a baby there isn’t much. Sometimes I like the way my hair falls. And I like my eyes- they seem to be one of the only things that didn’t change with pregnancy and birth. Almost everything else stretched and expanded. It’s incredibly frustrating to have nothing that fits unless it has an elastic waistband or extra fabric gathered around the middle or 3 sizes bigger.

But this friend is one of the more resilient, thoughtful, and positive people I’ve met in my life; she helped me to remember that my body is not just a size. And I suddenly felt as though I had permission to look at my body with love and acceptance as I thought about it’s capabilities.

This beautiful body created and carried and delivered a baby (that’s pretty bada**). My legs carried me for many miles throughout the pregnancy, despite sciatic nerve pain that brought me to tears some days; and now they help me rock.and rock and bounce.and bounce.and bounce.and bounce until our little one finally quiets and drifts off to sleep. My arms are strong enough to carry her from place to place and give her a bath almost every night- a favorite time of the day for both of us alike. My mouth allows me to make funny faces and noises that bring a smile to her sweet face…oh how I love those sweet little smiles.

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Geez, when I stop and really think about it… my body is pretty dang awesome. Sure, my clothes may never fit the same again… or at least not for quite awhile… but in the meantime it’s doing exactly what I need it to be doing. And I LOVE it for that, and I accept where it’s at- stretchy waistbands and all.

And now I turn to you, Dear Reader, and feel inclined to ask:

What do YOU love about YOUR body?

How to Have a Healthier Halloween!

Halloween is known as day to dress up in a costume and go house to house collecting candy. Halloween doesn’t just have to be all about candy and dressing up.Candy is filled with sugar and saturated fats. One way to avoid all this sugar and fat is to have a healthier Halloween, that doesn’t mean you have to eliminate all the candy either! Here are some tricks and tips on how to have a healthier Halloween.

1. Set a limit on how many pieces of candy you can have each day.

2. Showcase fruits and veggies; make them look Halloween themed like shown below.

3. Handout non-sugary foods and toys like; temporary tattoos, crayons, stickers and spider rings

4. Replace candy with better choices like, trail mix, pretzels, string cheese, crackers, fruit cups in 100% juice, and sugarless gum.

5. Buy candy you don’t love, so you don’t eat all the left over candy.

carrot halloweenhalloween strawberriesbananas and oranges halloweenbean dip halloween catdeviled eggshalloween carrot pumpkinorange halloweenhalloween fruit cup

 

For healthy Halloween recipes check out these sites:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/healthy-eating/healthy-halloween-recipes/pictures/index.html

http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Holiday—Celebration-Recipes/Halloween-Recipes/Healthy-Halloween

http://www.ivillage.com/healthy-halloween-treats-kids-will-love/6-a-128659

For more healthy treats to hand out; check out these sites:

http://www.wikihow.com/Give-Healthy-Treats-for-Halloween

http://healthynation.cherokee.org/Portals/53/Healthy%20Halloween%20Handouts.pdf

Sources:

http://spoonful.com/halloween/best-halloween-recipes-gallery

http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/menus/10-healthy-halloween-treats1.htm

http://healthland.time.com/2012/10/30/5-tips-for-a-healthy-halloween/

 

 

Flaxseed and Omega 3

Flaxseed contains omega 3. Omega 3 is good fat that has heart healthy effects. Consuming flaxseed is an easy way to get omega 3 in your diet. One tablespoon of flaxseed contains 1.8 grams of omega 3.

How do you know if you need omega 3 in your diet? If you have brittle hair/nails, constipation, dry/itchy skin, joint pains, fatigue, or poor concentration you may be lacking omega 3.

For more benefits, dosing, side effects, and ways to incorporate it into your life check out the brochure displayed below.

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Maintain, Don’t Gain this holiday season!

Maintain Don’t Gain this holiday season!

Healthy UND Challenge

Healthy UND Challenge

Most Americans gain around a pound of weight every year during the holidays, which doesn’t seem like much, but studies show that the one pound gained during this time of year isn’t lost throughout the rest of the year.  Overtime, the yearly one pound addition to body weight can have some serious effects on our health- hypertension, diabetes, etc.  Maintain Don’t Gain is an awareness project, hopefully getting people to think about the decisions they make during this time of year, specifically about what they eat and their activity levels.  It’s easier to prevent weight gain than it is to lose the pounds later.

No Wellness Center-No Problem

Exercise should still be considered a priority.  Not only is it important to maintain activity levels but it can also help deal with any stress that goes along with the holidays.  If you keep active over the break it will be easier to get back into your normal routine once you return.

Shoveling snow, outdoor winter activities, indoor body weight workouts

Winter Running/Walking Tips:

  1. Wear multiple layers, with the first layer being a synthetic material, such as polypropylene, which will helps wick away sweat/moisture.  Stay away from cotton because it holds in moisture and will keep you wet.
  2. Protect your hands and feet with gloves and thick socks.
  3. Cover your head.  About 40% of your body heat is lost from your head, and wearing a hat will help prevent heat loss so your circulatory system will have more heat to distribute to the rest of the body.
  4. Start your run into the wind, than it will be at your back at the end of the workout, when you’re sweaty.
  5.  If the temperature is at or below zero, stick with an indoor activity.

 

Holiday Meal Time

Think small.  Enjoy the food, but keep the portions under control.

Take breaks.  Try not to rush through your whole plate of food, so you can better gauge when you’re full.  It can take up to 20 minutes for your stomach to signal the brain that it’s full.

Be mindful of alcohol intake.  Alcohol contains useless calories that change your blood sugar levels and, in the short term, can increase hunger levels and cause unnecessary snacking.

Why It’s Important to Track Your Activities                        

Keeps you honest.

You can see results and progress-good and bad.

Keep track of activities you enjoy or don’t enjoy.

To get registered for the challenge – head to the Healthy UND webpage , stop by the Fitness Desk at the Wellness Center or the Healthy & Wellness Hub in the Union!  Stay on track this holiday season!

Most Popular Student Snack at UND…Fingernails!

Okay, that isn’t quite true! It is a possibility though! Last week I promoted “Smart Snacking in College” at the Wellness Center. While the majority of people consider “stressful snacking” to be overeating, many studies show that when students are stressed they resort to their fingernails… or under-eating! I wanted to find out how UND students were snacking, especially with the stress of finals coming up. Being a dietetic student, there was an OVERLOAD of ideas in my brain to share with you guys. Obviously, I wanted my information to be from credible sources. With SO many people claiming their way is the best way in nutrition it can be tough to know what to believe. After filtering through tons of information, I came up with the following general recommendations for snacks:
100-200 calories/snack

  • Don’t overdo your snacks!
  • Contain carbohydrates!
    • Fuel your brain
    • Fiber-filled!
      • Helps digestion
      • Satiety
      • Protein filled!
        • Satiety
          • Nutrient Dense!

What are you putting into your body? Using credible information when it comes to nutrition is SO important for your best and healthiest life! Where can you be sure to find this? A few resources to take a look at are:

  • ChooseMyPlate.gov
  • A Registered Dietitian
  • Nutrition.gov

Here are some quick ideas for you in your busy lifestyle!

Make-your-own Trail Mix:
Try:Whole grain, low sugar cereal
Sunflower seeds,Raw Almonds, Dried fruit (raisins, craisins, etc.), Dark Chocolate

Throw together ingredients and put into individual Ziploc bags for each day!

Raw Almonds
Try: Blue Diamond 100 calorie pack raw almonds
Why? Fiber, protein, healthy fat, B vitamins
Price: $3.99/7 pack ($0.57 per packet)

Granola Bar:
Try: Kashi TLC (Tasty Little Crunchies) Bar
Why? One package has 180 calories, 4g fiber, 6g protein, 100% whole grains, 8g added sugar
Price: $5.12/12 bars ($0.42 per bar)

Greek Yogurt dip:
Try: Dill Dip
+1 Cup Non-fat PLAIN Greek Yogurt
+3 teaspoons dried dill weed (find it in the spices section!)
Mix together and enjoy! Dip carrots, celery, whole-grain crackers

Why? Protein, Probiotics (help digestion)
Greek yogurt is a great replacement for dips using cream cheese, mayonnaise, or sour cream, or butter.
Price: $1.75 for yogurt, $3.98 for dried dill weed that can be used multiple times!

Popcorn with added spices:
Cumin
Dill
Garlic Powder
Why? Popcorn is a whole grain!
Gradually added spices and test it out until it tastes just right!

I also had members fill out a short survey about their snacking habits. The options to choose from for snack items were: crackers, candy, cheese stick, fruit, vegetables, nuts, cookies, yogurt, sports drinks, milk, chips, pop, ice cream. I was impressed that the item that was most commonly snacked on was yogurt! Good job, you guys! The most common activity that those were snacking during was watching television! The majority of those who took the survey claimed they consumed less when feeling stressed. Continue that healthy snacking UND students! I would advise against relying on fingernails for nutrients though!

Cookin’ with the Kiddos at the Culinary Corner

Mealtime with kids is usually a challenge for parents everywhere – how do you get them to eat some nutritious broccoli when all they want is a Happy Meal? Well, today’s your lucky day because researchers from the University of Alberta have found you a solution: play dress up and turn them in to a mini chef! That’s right, gathering your children in the kitchen to help with preparing meals will result in healthier eating habits. According to the university’s survey of fifth graders in Alberta, doing this will make your kids choose healthier fruits and vegetables over bad-for-you junk food.

Little ones love to feel grown up and helping in the kitchen definitely does the trick. Being around healthy fruits and vegetables and incorporating them into a nutritious home-cooked meal means that kids will actually enjoy the process. As a result, they will begin to like fruits and vegetables and soon enough, they will ditch the burgers and cookies in favor of apples and carrots.

To help you get started, the Culinary Corner (located in the Wellness Center) is hosting “Cooking with the Kiddos”, a series of classes held Tuesdays in July. At just $5 per kiddo, and parents getting in free, this class offers an excellent chance for family time while teaching your children the importance of healthy eating. Attend three classes and get the fourth class FREE!

To register, go to http://und.edu/health-wellness/wellness/nutrition

[Source: www.sciendaily.com]

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